A resident of the Kubwa area in the Bwari Local Council of Abuja, identified as Onybuchi Anele, was reportedly shot in the face with a tear gas canister by a police officer. The incident occurred on Wednesday, May 22.

An eyewitness told Leadership Newspaper that Anele was on his way home from work when he had a minor accident with an okada (motorcycle taxi) rider and his passenger. After ensuring the accident victims were unharmed, Anele continued toward his home in the Haj Estate. It was then that policemen arrived at the scene.

The eyewitness recounted that the situation escalated when the policemen insisted Anele accompany them to their station, despite the okada rider and his passenger having already left. This disagreement led to a quarrel, during which a policeman fired a tear gas canister directly into Anele’s face at close range.

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Photos and videos widely circulated on social media showed Anele bleeding from his face with a metallic object embedded in it.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the FCT, SP Josephine Adeh, stated on Friday that the shooting was the result of an “accidental discharge.” She confirmed that the incident took place in the Byazhin community in Kubwa, Abuja, around 9:45 pm on Wednesday. The Commissioner of Police for the FCT, Benneth Igweh, has ordered an investigation into the matter.

Anele was initially taken to the Kubwa General Hospital and later transferred to the National Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries around 8 am on Thursday.